Retailer Look & Listen has said that from next Tuesday, 12 February, it will no longer offer consumers the option to make purchases of either physical goods or digital downloads from its website, reversing a trend by bricks-and-mortar retailers to online sales.
The company published the announcement on its website lookandlisten.co.za on Thursday. It says consumers will still be able to do product research online and keep up to date with new product promotions and competitions, but that online sales will no longer take place.
Those customers who have funds in a virtual wallet with Look & Listen can choose to convert these to a virtual store-based gift voucher accessed via an SMS. Alternative, they can get a refund. Those customers who have an item on paid preorder will still receive it when it arrives.
Look & Listen CEO Darren Levy says that when it comes to physical items like CDs, DVDs and videogames, the online market is “not big enough”. He says the retailers will “continue to stay focused on traditional retail”.
Levy says the website will stay up for advertising and promotional purposes and to allow users to find information on Look & Listen stores and browse the retailer’s catalogue online.
The decision to cut digital downloads in addition to physical product sales was motivated similarly, says Levy. “We were the first legitimate site to offer downloads locally, but once again it’s a scale issue in this market. There is a small number of people paying for digital downloads and they’ve got lots of other options now.”
In addition to the website, Levy says Look & Listen’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will be kept so that consumers can communicate with the company using social media.
“We’ve pushed online sales hard, but businesses have to make money,” he says. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media